Indian Point nuclear power plant, less than 30 miles from New York City, will close by April 2021 under an agreement New York State reached this week with the utility company that owns the plant, according to several news reports.
One of the reactors will permanently shut down by April 2020, followed by the rest of the plant, which sits on the east bank of the Hudson River,the following year.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who supports nuclear power plants in the upper region of the state, has long requested that the Westchester County plant cease operations.
“Why you would allow Indian Point to continue to operate defies common sense, planning and basic sanity,” Cuomo said in June, The New York Times reported.
New York’s Department of State said the Indian Point plant is in violation of state coastal management regulations and that it poses a risk to the 17 million people who live within 50 miles, The Wall Street Journal reported.
However, Cuomo hasn’t confirmed the win for his administration.
“There is no agreement — Governor Cuomo has been working on a possible agreement for 15 years and until it’s done, it’s not done,” spokesman for the governor, RichardAzzopardi, said. “Close only counts for horseshoes, not for nuclear plants.”
The governor is expected to make the announcement in his home county of Westchester on Tuesday, the New York Daily News reported.
The replacement for the energy the plant provides for New York City and Westchester County isn’t clear; the power plant generates more than 2,000megawatts— 25 percent of the region’s electricity.
Cuomo previously suggested alternative power options, including power from nearby wind farms and hydropower from Quebec.
In 2015, Cuomo’s administration opposed the 20-year recertification request by the plant’s owner, Entergy, citing ecological concerns. The objection stated thatthe reactor, located near “two active seismic faults,” kills marine life by using 2.5 billion gallons of water of day for cooling and puts drinking water at risk, according to the advocacy group Riverkeeper.
In his 2004 report “Chernobyl on the Hudson? The Health and Economic Impacts of a Terrorist Attack at the Indian Point Nuclear Plant,” Edwin S. Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists “found that a core meltdown and radiological release at one of the two operating Indian Point reactors could cause 50,000 near-term deaths from acute radiation syndrome and 14,000 long-term deaths from cancer.”
When asked if New York City’s safety will be affected by the plant closure, Raul Contreras, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, said, “The closing of Indian Point must be coupled with a clear understanding of the risks and impact its replacements will have on air quality, energy affordability and reliability.”
A representative from Entergy told Metro on Saturday that the company has no comment at this time on the closure.